-Abstract: The workshop will be an open symposium on art, art movements, and cultural paradigm shifts. We will look at art work and the context in which it was made.
–Details: The workshop will examine three pieces of art, each in someway tangentially related to one another. Each art work will be discussed for the length of one 45 minute session. Slides will be used to show the artwork. Within the slides will be other ideas, artworks, and images that I have curated to frame the 3 pieces being discussed.
-Limited to 10 Participants
-Requirements: Come with respectful openness and a willingness to engage others in conversation. No prior expertise are necessary.
Link to SURVEY form for feedbackAbove: Slide 1 of my workshop.
Overview: The workshop started off a bit shaky. I had presented a series of individual slides and a final slide showing the curated images all together. At first, it definitely felt like a lecture and not so much like a symposium. I went through each slide and was asked by the group to explain each image. Even by the time that I got to my last slide of the collected images, I felt like I was doing most of the discussion alone that I was hoping would be done by the group. The ideas which I hoped would come through with the collection altogether, I realized after would have maybe been easier to grasp or form if I would have done more easily digestible pairings of ideas. In short, I should have taken a slower walk-through the images and the ideas that they invoked. I should have started with couplings being discussed first and the group of images and it’s general idea being discussed last.
The other thing I realized is how hard it is to get a group of individuals talking openly about a foreign subject. After about 20 mins or so, the symposium quickly diverted away from the slides and moved on to topics of personal interest and relevance. It was then that the discussion became interesting and disagreements started to happen. The conversation started with Art, moved on to Art versus Design (and Craft), then to Technology as a catalyst for intellectual changes in perspective, and finally to what is art and what constitutes art. In the end we all agreed that it was intent that constituted something to be art. The conversation became more interesting at moments of self reflection and our approach to person work, what we make, and how we define ourselves.
In truth, the images were purely there to prompt discussion. I was more than satisfied that conversation was taking place even though we weren’t talking about the slides specifically. Often the slides functioned as supportive images for making claims about individual ideas. I found that to be really successful. I also think that people really learned from each others perspectives. I don’t think we always agreed, but we definitely expanded our approaches to ideas for future discussions.
Critique/Advice: The exercise was hugely informative in how hard it is to teach and how to think on your feet. My ideas didn’t come through in discussion liked I hoped. I should take my group through the ideas in the slides slower in the future.Above: Symposium in process…Above: Sampling of images, ideas, and technologies which informed the intellectual climate of the ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ by Marcel Duchamp.